Chenin Blanc as nature intended
The soils farmed by Luc Briand and Bénédicte Petit at Domaine Terra Vita Vinum are a geologist’s (and oenophile’s!) dream. Hugely complex, often volcanic in origin, they impart a unique character to the wines they produce. Tasting them together is fascinating, and really for me represents why wine is such an endlessly compelling and soulful pursuit. These single vineyard wines are the pinnacle of Bénédicte and Luc’s project. Now fully converted to biodynamic farming, each parcel is given maximum care to emphasise its subtle differences in character and style. From the racy Grand Vau to the rich, silky Grand Rogeries, or the deep minerality of the Pavillon – each talks in its own distinctive voice, despite their common grape variety and their vineyards relative proximity. Grab a bottle of each and see for yourself.
We also have the new vintage of the ever popular Large Soif! Blanc, as well as the Large Soif! Rouge for the first time. These easy drinking and fun wines are made in homage to three star Michelin chef Paul Bocuse. Influential in Benedicte and Luc’s early careers, he coined the phrase Large Soif or Be Thirsty. This pair show the other side of wine appreciation – they are to be shared with friends while the conversation flows. Both wines are fresh and deliciously fruit forward, perfect for summer and beyond.
Large Soif! Blanc 2020
Pre-shipment price £17.00
A blend of 80% chenin blanc and 20% chardonnay grown on Schist. Fermented and aged for six months in stainless steel. Bursting with citrus and stone fruits, with an energising freshness to the palate and a long, racy finish with light at its heart.
Large Soif! Rouge 2020
Pre-shipment price £17.00
A blend of cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon & gamay. Super high toned perfume, with raspberry, blackcurrant and rose. The palate is medium bodied, with a juicy concentration of black fruits balanced by refreshing acidy – very delicious, and very hard not to have another sip!
Grand Vau Anjou Blanc 2019
Pre-shipment price £21.50
100% Chenin growing on silty clay over green sandstone schist. 14 months on its fine lees, in 3-4 year-old barrels. Lovely floral notes rise above a base of rich lemon and crisp apple- it is summery and fresh and has something of the meadow about it. Really good attack, with a mouthful of fruit, racy acidity, and a beautifully defined finish that lasts and lasts. Not a rich Chenin, this is lithe and focused. We drank a bottle of this at the excellent Casse Croute in Bermondsey – it proved a terrific match for their classic French dishes.
Pavillon Anjou Blanc 2019
Pre-shipment price £32.50
The soils here are closer to Savennières – green shale. But this vineyard is north facing. Made in a combination of barrel, concrete egg and amphora. Rich nose, with lemon peel, honey and a touch of ginger spice, a heady perfume. That richness carries on to the palate, with deep flavours of citrus and apple fruits, this is a weighty, round Anjou supported by a mineral structure. Super concentrated yet for all its intensity it doesn’t lose its definition. Bénédicte’s favourite pairing is smoked salmon, but Poularde à la Crème is also highly recommended.
Grandes Rogeries Anjou Blanc 2019
Pre-shipment price £49.50
This is the very top of the Rogeries hill, their highest plot. There’s a thin layer of sandy silt but the old vines are rooted in volcanic rock. 14 months in French oak and Italian amphora. A nose of red apples is followed by a direct, concentrated and pure palate bursting with apple and ripe pear fruit and crackling with energy. Focussed, yet fleshy and pulpy, it’s a superb wine, so balanced and harmonious, electrically charged yet silky and gourmand. Like a cross between a fine Meursault and a Grand Cru Chablis.
Chant de la Pierre Gamay 2020
Pre-shipment price £24.50
This isn’t a new wine, but the 2020 is a real jump up and shows the additional focus Bénédicte feels their conversion to biodynamics has given them. More red, iron, in the clay means a good site for red grapes. 100% Gamay, which has a different character here than in Beaujolais, darker, wilder. Vivacious nose, beautifully fresh red fruits, before a palate full of slightly wild hedgerow fruit, super freshness and a very fine, cool, structure. Works very well with a slight chill from the fridge.